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Mitsubishi tops three key segments for the second year running, including Victoria's most affordable 4x4 dual-cab ute.
Utes have evolved dramatically in the past 20 years. Car-based utes like the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore were once the favoured body style of Aussie tradies and farmers, but those models have disappeared following the closure of the Australian automotive manufacturing industry.
Even the one-tonners of decades past are unrecognisable compared to today’s offerings. Gone are the low-rent clapped-out Holden Rodeos and rusty Datsuns. These days a top-spec ute could set you back about $70,000, and they are fitted with creature comforts and safety gear you’d expect in a premium car.
Whether you’re using one as a workhorse or as family transport, there’s no shortage of dual-cab utes to pick from. In fact, the two best-selling models in Australia this year are the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.
RACV’s 2021 Vehicle Operating Costs survey has found that when it comes to affordability, two-wheel-drive (4x2) utes cost an average of $1303.54 per month to own and run, while four-wheel drive (4x4) utes are $1533.62, which is more than double the average monthly price of light passenger cars.
Big 4x4 SUVs are all the rage at the moment, with Australians forced to holiday at home rather than heading overseas. The uptick in caravan sales has prompted an increase in sales of all-terrain vehicles. They cost more on average than any other vehicle category in this year’s survey at $1634.29 per month.